Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dahon Jetstream: Above and beyond...

The enduring Dahon Jetstream..

Based on what I found with limited resources, the first Dahon Jetstream surfaced sometime around 2006 - 2007.
It was a bike that features a rear suspension and a rigid front fork.
Since its debut, the bike was given a few upgrades and one of the most successful incarnation of the Dahon Jestream is the Jetstream P8.
This bike features an 8-speed drivetrain with premium components. And most distinguishable: is the Dahon Q suspension designed by German A.
With some tweaks, the Dahon Jetstream P8 is one of few folding bikes that is capable of taking on light and medium offroad trails.
One such guy in the US who lived on a motorhome since 2003 Debbie & Carey's site had taken the Jetstream to the extreme by riding offroad.
Carey, the owner of the Dahon Jetstream XP, had ridden the bike hard and fast until it's frame actually failed.
His site is a reference for all aspiring Jetstream owners.

Early models

The Dahon Jetstream XP in its early years

A 2008 Dahon XP featuring the German A Kilo suspension fork

The Dahon Jetstream XP made its way to the shelves sometime in 2006 or earlier.
Future upgrades includes a redesigned frame which is blockier than its predecessor. The XP maintains its front kinetic pro rims and later models included an active shock absorber where its positive or negative rebound can be set according to user-preference.

2011 Dahon Jetstream: as good as it gets...

The 2011 Dahon Jetstream EX
Shipped in July 2011, Malaysia received a shipment of 10 Dahon Jetstream EX.
They were the last of Dahon's high-end full-suspension folding bikes ever to leave Taiwan.
It was discontinued that same year.
This bike features a 27-speed drivetrain, full-suspension (German A Kilo front fork and an SR Suntour adjustable shock absorber).
For the last-run, Dahon used the Ashima PCB hydraulic dish brakes. Previous version of this bike came with an Avid hydraulic disk brake system.
The 2011 Jetstream EX was the finest folding bike Dahon has ever built to cater for high-end users.

Dahon Jetstream P8 - the bike that won't bleed your wallet..

The 2010 Jetstream P8 featuring an RST suspension fork
If you want a full-suspension folding bike and are a bit tight in terms of budget, the Dahon Jetstream P8 would be the solution.
It has a retail price of RM3.8k (cheaper than any full-suspension bikes in its class) and packs some really interesting features.
The front and rear shocks actually travels to yield a softer ride on bumpy roads.
It could even take the rigors of light and medium offroad trails.
I've tested this bike and have good things to say about it.

The golden years..

I would say that 2011 was the best year for the Dahon Jetstreams.
Why? The frames were made in Taiwan and premium components were given.
They didn't cut corners as later variants of the Jetstream P8s had cheap components.
The 2010 Dahon Jetstream was packaged with SRAM components and Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires. 
You won't find that in the current version.

The 2014 Dahon Jetstream P8, now, with mechanical disk brakes

2015 Dahon Jetstream D8, continuing the legacy..

What to expect in 2015? 

Dahon had re-designed the Jetstream to give it a fresh look. You can expect the "Return of the King" with a much more competitive and premium components.
Rather than having cheap parts, Dahon has paired the Jetstream D8 with Shimano groupsets - particularly the shifter and rear derailleur.
Next year's model has a slightly different frame and is much sleeker in terms of design.
Dahon has also given the Jetstream D8 a nicer colour scheme compared to its 2013 and 2014 versions.
Even the tires are much better than the cheap Dahon Rotolos. For 2015, Dahon is packaging the Jetstream D8 with 
On availability and price, I am not sure if the new distributor is going to carry this model. But am hopeful that they will continue to do so.

1 comment:

Felix said...

The first model of the Jetstream XP was released in 2004 (my guess, I bought one early 2005)
It had a steeper angle of the dampener, which suited for a nice look, but was from an engineering p.o.v. just stupid because when compressed, an increasing part of the dampening energy is wasted by decreasing leverage.
I took me years to find out that I can increase the pressure curve by setting its piston higher.
The swingarm was flatter, resulting in a more "sporty" look.
The headset was more delicate than the 2005 model (the one on your first image) but sufficient for street use. But the stem of the handlebar was extendable, that's why I can still use it in more upright position.
When released it had very narrow racing tyres, black with two yellow stripes. After the first glass shard I couldn't find replacement but thicker ones, which weigh more but give more riding comfort.
The front in-hub "dampener" got worn out and the dampening elements are out of stock.
I'm still riding it (2021!) as a metro and suburban train shuttle for more remote working places.